Switching pumps: give me details about their alarms, please

Hello, I joined just so I could ask this question.

(Apologies if I should have added my reply to a 5-year-old topic instead of creating a new one. )

First of all, my pump brand history: I started with an Animas IR … something, hated it because of it’s sirens whenever SOMETHING was empty or whenever I didn’t acknowledge an “alert” in time. And occlusions, oh the very frequent occlusions that led to sirens. LOL

Then I had a Deltec Cozmo, which I know everyone sings the praises of, but it still had… dreadful sirens if I didn’t acknowledge an alert within time. The sirens weren’t quite as embarrassing as the sirens on the Animas, but they still existed. Plus, I had just as many occlusions with the Deltec as I did the Animas. (My father speculated that both pumps had “occlusions” when the plunger was too stiff to be pushed by the motor. After that, I would dedicate 15 solid minutes (no exaggeration) to milking those plungers before putting any insulin in them. It helped, but not much… or maybe the results are clouded in my memory due to already being ticked off with the pumps…)

Now I’m on the Accu-chek Spirit Combo.

Oh, sweet deity, there are no sirens!!! If I don’t acknowledge an “alert”, the beep volume and vibration intensity just escalate. But even at it’s loudest and “mad-est” it’s not anywhere near as embarrassing in public places as either the Deltec or Animas. And occlusions - I’ve only had 3 occlusions in the 3 years I’ve had it – and those were all truly bent cannalas. I chuckle to think that perhaps this Spirit is just not delivering insulin at times due to occlusions and not telling me, LOL, but I’d rather that than want to throw the pump across the room because of sirens every other day. (No, I’m not exaggerating – battery life was HORRID with the pumps using most of their energy for sirens. LOL)

Long story, but it looks like I may be forced to switch away from the Spirit next year when my 4 years are up. The Spirit is the first pump that I … haven’t hated.

Animas: From what I read, the Animas Ping and Vibe both have sirens, still, if alerts are not confirmed, and for empty cartridge/battery.

Omnipod: I also read that the Omnipod has similar sirens for empty cartridge and / or the 3-day limit being reached.

Minimed: I have yet to read anything about wailing, never ending sirens on the latest Minimed, as far the pump functions are concerned. (I refuse to use a CGM for reasons that would start another rant, so I wouldn’t have the CGM inserted / enabled.) However, I have read that the current Minimed pumps have a problem with batteries – in that they either don’t accept brand new batteries as serviceable, or brand new batteries are depleted in hours, with no warning. Is there not a siren when the battery is empty??! That would be awesome, but I can’t believe it.

Could someone who uses a CURRENT version of Animas, Omnipod, and Minimed pump please confirm or deny whether your pump has sirens?

And if you care to, compare the volume and annoyance of those sirens to something else. Thank you for any feedback!

My daughter uses the OmniPod system and loves it! But it does alarm to remind you to check your BG about 1.5 hours after changing Pods, it alarms to let you know when you are approaching the 3-day mark and/or when insulin reserves are low. But I appreciate these alarms: my daughter and I need to be reminded to re-check her BG after changing Pods and when it is getting close to the time when she needs to change her Pod. There is a rather loud, annoying, continuous alarm whenever there is a major pump malfunction or when you run the Pod dry. This alarm requires silencing via poking it in the correct place with a paper clip. I hope I’m remembering all the various alarms; if I’ve missed any, I hope another OmniPod user will chime in.

All in all, not too many alarms for our tastes…

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I have the Animas Vibe currently, having had the Omnipod earlier. The Vibe, as I have it set, leans heavily on vibration notifications. So far, nothing that I would call a “siren” has come from it. I DO use the CGM, and, to be honest, this lack of a loud “voice” has encouraged me to continue to use the Dexcom receiver especially at night - when LOUD is a lot more useful than a quiet chirp. Most of the other alarms on the Vibe so far are at worst chirps when not the vibration is not acknowledged.

The Omnipod does have a solid tone “siren” that goes off when the pump is empty OR for occlusions. I had only one or two “occlusions” while I used the Omnipod, but those meant discarding the Pod and at least some of the remaining insulin. I have only had an “occlusion” twice with the Animas Vibe (in around 6 months) – once when I compressed the tubing, the second when I slept on the infusion site. The first time, I was able to “cheat” and change only the tubing (and re-prime), without losing the rest of the set; the second one, I massaged the area, re-primed the set, and it went on its merry way working just fine.

I use a minimed 530G and have now for 2 years. Absolutely no problems like you describe.

rick

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The continuous alarm for an empty Omnipod or a pod malfunction can usually be silenced by acknowledging it on the controller. Only if the controller loses communication with the pod does it require a paperclip as described above. Also, the low-insulin alarm is programmable between 50 and 10 units, I believe, so you do have some control over when that one goes off.

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Once the OmniPod gets as far as the SUPER LOUD continuous alarm due to a major malfunction, only a paper clip, sledge hammer, or a freezer will silence it. I’ve even heard of someone running over a screaming Pod with their SUV out of desperation when nothing else would work!

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I’m pretty sure my Ping would siren, if you ignored it long enough. Never could hear the Medtronic alarms ever. The best for me has been the Tslim, and the three levels of alarm volume (weak vibrate). My husband is a light sleeper, he hates my new pump. Meaning, the alarms are annoying and work well…LOL

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Thanks, all. So far, the Minimed is “winning” this discussion, for me. :slight_smile:

The Omnipod alarms are not that bad. They can be easily silenced. BUT can someone tell me what the “paperclip” solution is that some people mention? I’ve had some loud alarms that caused me to deactivate a “dead” pod and start a new one. When do you use a paperclip?

@PamS, there are rare instances when the PDM loses connection with a pod, and you can’t silence an alarm by acknowledging it on the PDM. The alarm will continue until the battery runs out unless you take drastic action. Some hit the pod with a hammer, some put it in the freezer, some take an object like a paperclip or small nail and pierce the pod cover over the speaker and disable the alarm that way.

I agree with PamS: the OmniPod alarms are not that bad.

Somewhere in the manual (which is available on line) are the instructions on how to stop the alarm using a paperclip. Found it:

Fig. 10-2 on P. 131
http://www.myomnipodtraining.com/pdf/OmniPod-User-Guide-UST400.pdf

We’ve been able to do this the two whole times in almost two years my daughter’s Pod started shrieking. But I’ve heard of some folks being unable to silence the alarm with the paper clip method, hence the sledgehammer, freezer, chainsaw, steamroller, etc. method…

my new friend i have. did take a sledgehammer to her pod. it did make it stop.

Previously I had the Minimed Paradigm Veo 554 (looks similar to the American 530G pump). That didn’t have many sirens (I don’t use CGM). In case you miss a blockage alarm there is a siren after about 10 minutes I think. Besides that, I don’t know about any other sirens. Not even when the battery is empty. I used 1 battery a month. Alarms aren’t that loud in my opinion.
Now I’m on the Minimed 640G (not yet available in the USA as far as I know). This pump has an adjustable beep volume. When you take out the battery some kind of siren will sound. Up till now I haven’t missed a no delivery alarm, so I don’t know if it will make loud noises in case you miss it.

Not sure how many places I will post this, but since my last reply I have decided the Tslim is giving serious issues. My Ping has an internal error and pretty much a pain to deal with that. My Medtronic Revel is going to be put back into use. So I will be back to poor alarms, but hopefully without the high sugars the Tslim is giving me. It’s a long story, and we are going to have to try to negotiate to get some help since the purchase is three months old. But, not working, not at all…

I used a Deltec Cozmo for four and a half years and have used a Ping for five years. I would hardly call the Ping’s alarms “sirens”. I mean, sure, it makes noise, but compared to the Cozmo’s “siren” when a battery or cartridge was completely empty (in which case, it needs attention, no?!), the Ping alarms are hardly noticeable at all. When a battery is completely flat then it does beep and vibrate every 15 minutes, but unless it’s sitting out on a table or it’s dead quiet in the room, it’s not like anyone else really notices it. Especially in this age of cell phones and smart watches. No one pays any attention to a beep or vibration.

I actually wish the alarms on the Ping were significantly louder, like the Cozmo. I rarely slept through an empty cartridge when I was using the Cozmo. It’s not pleasant waking up to find the Ping has been alarming (unheard) under the covers for the past four hours because it ran out of insulin and your blood sugar and ketones are through the roof…

Plus, if you set the Ping to vibrate then you don’t get any audible alerts, ever, unless the battery is completely drained or the cartridge is completely empty and you don’t respond.

The one thing that does annoy me about the Ping is that the low battery alarm goes off as soon as the battery indicator hits “low” even when there’s a good week left of battery power. So then, every time you wake the pump up, you get a beep and an alert screen about the battery being low. Nothing that would be noticeable to others, though.

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That had never happened to me until about a month after this exchange! I knew what to do and now throw a paperclip in my bag with other supplies.

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